Irish-born artist (Callan, County Kilkenny) who initially worked in a bank before military service, and created his first oil painting in 1945 (Tate). He came to Cornwall on a painting holiday in 1955 and stayed, living in various places between St Ives and Penzance. Altogether he worked in Cornwall in the Land's End district for more than 30 years.

Latterly (1990) he and his wife Jane O'MALLEY(nee Harris), were drawn home to Ireland though maintaining their friends and memberships in Cornwall, where Tony has been greatly honoured and celebrated as a 'national treasure'. He was especially honoured in 1993 when the President of the Irish Republic, Mary Robinson,  made him a Saoi (Aosdana title) presented to only 'Five Living Artists' at any one time. Together Jane and Tony created a rural idyll of a home in extensive laid-out gardens in which their studios and storerooms were contructed. Many Penwith friends, visited them and continue now to make the trip to Kilkenny to pay homage to the memory of a great friend and artist, who had spent the majority of his artistic life in Cornwall.


Abstract painter (since 1962)

works and access

Likenesses of the artist: Photo likenesses in 1962 (Tate 1985, p137) and c1990 (Hardie 1995, opp p65)

Access to work: Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; Cornwall Council


NAG Solos 1975, 1986, Celtic Vision 1987 & 1988, Art share 1988, Critics Choice 1989 (Select), A Century of Art in Cornwall 1889-1989

1986: RCM & RIC Three Spires Festival Exhibition of Paintings, Sculpture and Pottery, Truro (Opening of the RCM or County Art Gallery, by the Royal Institution of Cornwall)


NSA 1975-1995

Penwith Society of Artists 1962

misc further info



Personal bibliography:

Fallon, Brian (1984) Tony O'Malley - painter in exile, Arts Council, Dublin & Belfast

Lynch, Brian (1996) Tony O'Malley, Scolar Press; (2004) Tony O'Malley: New Island, Dublin (fully illustrated with photos and paintings; (2005) Tony O'Malley: The Visual Diaries, 50 Years of Tony O'Malley's Sketchbooks, Butler Gallery, Kilkenny

Whittaker, David (2005) An Irish Painter in Cornwall

Buckman Artists in Britain since 1945

Great Atlantic Publications & Clark Art Ltd (2008) the golden age of cornish art

Hardie (1995) 100 Years/Diary (photo likeness)

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & IOS, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership;

Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64: 25 Years of Painting, Sculpture & Pottery (photo & biog notes p137)

See Wikipedia for numerous references (on-line)

Whybrow (2013) St Ives: The Story of Porthmeor Studios;